This remains my all-time favorite episode, probably because of the totally unexpected oddities of the hatch, and the reveal that the mysterious hatch-dweller had met Jack 'in another life'. There's just something about Desmond's sudden shift from smoothies and Mamma Cass, to rifles and tricked-out telescopes. Gets me every time. And this whole shift in perspective began with the skipping of a record. Hmm.
Why did Kate feel compelled to go along with Locke rather than Jack regarding the hatch? At the beginning of the episode, after Jack told John to forget about going into the hatch that night, she looked at Jack and, with a sense of urgency, simply said, "Jack?"...
As Jack was walking away from the hatch, Locke asked him, "Why don't you want to go down there, Jack?". The answer, IMO, may lie in Jack's subsequent flashback to Sarah's miraculous healing. Just as his marriage to Sarah seemed to be destined from the moment she was wheeled into his E.R., I think Jack knew, at some level, that Locke was right about the hatch leading to his destiny on the island. Considering how his marriage to Sarah ended up, I can imagine that Jack was struggling with the fear that, once again, he wouldn't have 'what it takes'.
Why did Vincent lead Shannon into the Jungle to see WetWalt? I'm guessing that Vincent, like the lostaways, may have been used at various times by Jacob and by the MiB. Perhaps Shannon's visions of Walt were projected By the MiB to eventually put her in harm's way, with a little help from Ana Lucia. She was, after all, out to get Locke.
Locke's question to Kate about the smoke monster, "Wonder what Jack thinks he saw?". It seems to me that John should be asking himself the same question. The first time he encountered Smokey, what he saw was beautiful, but the second time around the fear was obvious in his eyes.
Is there a parallel between Christian telling Jack that false hope is better than no hope, and Locke telling Hurley that what he expected to find in the hatch was "hope"?
I like this line of Jack's...
KATE: Kind of unlike you...the whole glass half-full thing.
JACK: There's a glass?
Maybe this was a foreshadowing that there was a whole lot more going on here than met the eye.
Even after re-watching the scene several times, I'm convinced that Desmond told Jack, "You have to lift her
up". Only after his meaning went right over Jack's head did he backtrack and improvise with the bit about elevating his ankle. I wonder if we'll ever find out what he did